Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Miller's at Last!

We finally made it to Miller's on Friday.  :-)  Despite the rain all day, it was a great day!  Chris worked a half day and came with us, and we met my MIL there, too!  Yay!

This trip was a real doosey!  I was out of everything! Here's a list of what I got:

50 lbs hard white winter wheat (2 months)
50 lbs oatmeal (4 months)
1 gallon honey (almost a year!)
2 lbs almonds (2 months, hopefully)
2 lbs cashews (2 months, ")
2 lbs walnuts (less than 2 months)
5 lbs raisins
2 lbs craisins (fruit sweetened-- really excited!)
2 lbs dates
2 lbs millet
5 lbs real salt
1 lbs hemp seeds
1 small pumpkin (for a pie!)
5 lbs pinto beans
10 lbs sucanat
10 lbs brown rice
3 juice boxes (for the thirsty children.  I usually pack water bottles, but forgot)
bunch of bananas
1 lb gluten
2 lbs buckwheat groats
1/2 lb yeast
granulated garlic
granulated onion
whole mustard seeds (2 packs- Chris wants to make mustard)
celery seeds
chili powder
ground mustard seeds
Annie's Worcestershire sauce
1/2 lb raw jack cheese
5 lbs carrots
1/2 gallon fresh organic apple cider
12 oz can tuna
2 packs sardines (Chris likes to take them for lunch sometimes and they were on sale!)

I might be forgetting some things, but this is a pretty good list.  I will have to go back in about two months (depends on how fast we go through the wheat), but I will not need nearly the things I needed on Friday.  Usually we buy at least ten dollars worth of 'snacky food' at Miller's (because we are hungry and I figure it's a special occasion-- always get mad at myself later for splurging so much).  This time around we only bought the juice boxes as a real splurge.  The kids ate bananas on the way to lunch, and drank their juice and all was good.  :-)

Well, anyway, that's about all.  I just thought some of you might be interested in what I actually buy when I go to Miller's.  And also, a list I might want to refer back to at a later time (WHAT do I need this week?).

Have a great week!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cooking Tip #3

Chris and I were making tomato sauce this weekend.  We blanched the tomatoes, and put the skins in a different pile.  At the end of blanching, Chris suggested, "What if we put the skins in the food mill?"  I thought it couldn't hurt anything.  Guess what?  We milled the skins on the finest screen.  The skins will not go through the screen.  But we got about a cup of tomato juice out of them. (5-8lbs of tomatoes)

So, the next time you blanch tomatoes to peel and make sauce, mill the skins before you discard them to get all you can out of the tomato. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Strawberries

***Please Note, this post is from June.  I just found it, not published.  But I wanted you to know about my strawberries.***

On Saturday I went strawberry picking with my Benjamin.  I forgot to take any pictures.

I picked 10 lbs of strawberries.  It was the end of the season, and it was HARD PICKING.  My whole body hurt at the end of the day.  I think it will be worth it when we have yummie strawberries-- at least into the fall?  Maybe we'll make it to the winter if I'm really stingy.

Anyway, here's what I did with mine:

  • Six quarts all together
  • Three and a half quarts frozen
  • One and a half or two dehydrated
  • The rest we ate. (We could have just eaten them ALL, but I wouldn't allow it.)   :-) 
***Update:  The strawberries barely made it through July.  We put them in oatmeal for breakfast a lot, and Chris likes to take soaked oats with fruit.  He started taking strawberries every day and it didn't take long for my beloved strawberries to be finished off.  :-(  We still have the dehydrated ones, though.  I am saving those for mid-winter when we will have long forgotten how delicious summer fruit can be.***

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    A Sandwich!

    Now, I have to start off this post by telling you, I had nothing to do with the invention of this sandwich.  I can take no credit.  It was all Chris.

    Some of you may remember Chris' last sandwich experiment.

    I would venture to say this one is ten times better!  :-)

    One night, the kids were getting to bed late, and we had eaten dinner early, so I made them a snack (mostly so the three year old wouldn't wake at 5:30 screaming he was hungry.  This has happened before, and it's not pretty.).  I made almond butter and banana sandwiches on potato rolls we had leftover from something.  While I was making them, I was thinking,  "Man, it HAS been awhile since we have eaten, and I am hungry too!"  So, I decided to make myself and Chris sandwiches too.

    I mentioned this to Chris who leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Only if it has Reese's  Peanut Butter Cups on it!" The man is a genius.  And they were delicious!

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Quick Lunch

    The other day, I had NO IDEA what we were going to eat for lunch.  I could not fall back on the good 'ole peanut(almond)-butter-and-jelly because we didn't have any bread.  I had not been to the store in who-knows-how-long because I have just been avoiding it because I have not had a menu plan in place for weeks and I am in denial that my kitchen spirals out of control with no direction when I do not have a menu plan which I do not have and the kitchen is spiraling even at this moment.

    but i digress.

    Anyway, as I was bathing the kids (we spent the morning in the garden-- pulling out brussels sprouts!) I was scouring my brain to think of something to have.  In the end, I was just pulling things from the fridge and the cabinets, hoping it would come together into some semblance of food my children might like.  Here's what happened:

    Garlic-Butter Spaghetti with Lemon-Tuna Salad
    The spaghetti was easy: 
    1/2 lb spaghetti
    2 cloves garlic
    4 TBS butter

    Melt the butter, press in and saute the garlic, toss with spaghetti. 

    The Salad:
    1 can tuna
    Small can sliced black olives
    1/2 green pepper, diced to desired size
    1 tomato, seeded and diced to desired size
    Lemon juice

    Mix the first four ingredients.  Toss with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.  I probably used about 2 TBS lemon juice, but I can't be sure.

    I think it turned out pretty well.  I served the spaghetti with a spoon of the salad on top, but just mixed it all together as I was eating it.  Ben had two helpings, Sam had to be forced to eat (this is not unusual at our house), and Ellie-- well I think this picture sums up what she thought:

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Brussels Sprouts Experiment

    We recently pulled our brussels sprouts out of our garden.  Now, I have heard that I should wait until the first frost to do this.  However, we have a bunny infestation (I would call four bunnies in my garden an infestation, wouldn't you?!) And also, I had never staked them so they were falling over and starting to rot on the ground and I just felt like if I wanted to eat any brussels sprouts this year from our garden, I would have to take some action. 

    I dug them out and pulled the leaves off from around where the brussels sprouts were, but the ones at the top were lush and green and I thought, I bet we could eat these or use them or something.  I have to admit, I am not a leafy green fan.  I just can't get excited about eating sauteed leafy greens.  Throw them in a soup, I'm alright.  But, the best way I have discovered to get the benefit of leafy greens without having to actually eat them (because let's be honest, I really just want the vitamins and minerals tied up in all that green goodness) is to juice them! 

    I was nervous that the leaves were going to be overpowering and bitter.  I'm pretty sure all of our brussels sprouts are going to be that way.  When I juiced them this first time, I added a bit more sweet than I normally would.  Here's what I juiced-- four brussels sprouts leaves, the middle of a celery stalk that I had, two carrots and an apple.  I was pleasantly surprised that it was nice and sweet. 

    I will definitely be juicing more of these leaves before they go bad!  Can't wait.  :-)

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Donuts. MMM.

    Luckily, before my wheat was completely gone, Chris and I decided to make donuts.  Although we had to half the recipe because we didn't have enough flour...

    I'd say it was all worth it!  These donuts from Heavenlyhomemakers.com were super delicious. Not too sweet, but with the confectioners sugar on top you couldn't even tell.  Ben even said (while we were eating them), "Mom, these donuts are REALLY sugary!" (Ha! I've got him fooled.... )


    Also, we fried them in lard.  (Yep, you read that right!)  They were really nice-- not greasy or oily as they have been when we have fried things in oil.  I do have to say, I have not tried frying donuts in palm shortening.  I wonder if that would have the same effect... hmm, I'll have to experiment!  After I go to Miller's, of course!

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Dire State of my Pantry!

    In the front is my empty sucanat containers... and if you look carefully, you can see the nearly empty gallon jar of honey behind

    Lacking sugar.

    All that is left of the 50lb bag of oats I bought in my Miller's video back in march...

    I am COMPLETELY out of wheat!  What's a girl to do?!!? 

    I also have no raisins, or craisins, am dangerously low on all my almonds, walnuts, cashews (out), pecans (out).  I am out of some key spices as well (like, mustard powder, onion powder, peppercorns, ... just off the top of my head).  I WILL go through my cabinets more thoroughly before we go later this week.  

    Needless to say, a Miller's run is NECESSARY this week!  Looking forward to going with my MIL and also going to check out the Lancaster Central Market.  I might remember to take some pictures and possibly post them for you to see sometime in the next four to six months.  ;-)

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Putting up Corn

    What did you do during the hurricane?

    We put up corn.  Six dozen.

    It yeilded 21 bags filled with 3 cups of corn each.  This is NOT enough to get us through the winter.  We may do it again this weekend; we shall see.  Regardless of whether we do six dozen more corn this weekend or not, I am happy to at least have some corn ready for the winter.  Delicious, sweet, fresh, mmm.  :-)

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    A new era

    Well, folks,

    Tonight was the first time that our small family of five finished an entire pound of pasta in one sitting.

    Ben had three plates,
    Sam had four bowls,
    and Ellie had two.

    So, we have entered a new era in the Good household.  :-)